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Sag Harbor's Gas Ball Lot May Stay Open

Thu, 09/14/2023 - 10:45
Private standalone parking lots are not permitted in business or office districts under current village zoning; they must be attached to a primary use, like a store or restaurant.
Christine Sampson

The Sag Harbor Village Board will hold a public hearing on Oct. 10 to consider a new local law that would allow the 93-space “gas ball” parking lot to remain open to the public.

The lot’s lessee, the developer Adam Potter, had threatened to shut it down if he couldn’t come to terms with the village to sublease it from him. Private standalone parking lots are not permitted in business or office districts under current village zoning; they must be attached to a primary use, like a store or restaurant.

If the village won’t lease it, he said in a phone call last week, and the code doesn’t allow him to run it, he would be forced to close it this Saturday, the first day of his lease with National Grid (and also the first day of HarborFest).

The proposed law, if passed, would allow a parking lot as a principal use on a property, providing the lot always remains open to the public and is free. If the board does not approve it, “Who loses? Everybody loses, that’s the problem,” Mr. Potter said in last week’s phone call.

Yesterday he was more hopeful. “I’m working with the mayor to do everything I can to ensure that the gas ball lot remains open,” he said.

The earliest the code could change to allow Mr. Potter to operate the lot would be at the Oct. 10 meeting, if the board holds the public hearing and then immediately adopts the change.

What happens in the meantime? Would the village lease the lot from Mr. Potter until the potential code change? Mr. Potter wouldn’t say if that option was on the table, and village officials did not respond to requests for comment.

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